Librarian by Day Bobbi Newman | I'm not that kind of librarian

FCC’s Broadband Action Agenda Fails to Address Training and Education

04.23.2010 · Posted in Digital Divide, Transliteracy

I’ve been following the FCC’s National Broadband Plans since they were sent to Congress.  I’ve been excited about the possibility of the Digital Literacy Corps.  However when reviewing the Broadband Action Agenda I feel a little uneasy.  I see no reference to training or instruction.  While I agree on the importance of access to broadband I’m concerned about lack of attention to instruction. This sort of training and funding are desperately needed.  Dumping broadband access on communities that can’t afford a computer or the monthly fee for high speed access and without any instruction is like giving  a 13 year a Ferrari, its a great car but he can’t afford the gas and he don’t know how to drive it.  Its basically worthless.

At the VERY least there should be mention of public libraries.  They are the ones who will be providing access to this wonderful broadband to people who can’t afford the device or the connection fee. It also falls upon them to provide the training and instruction.  Broadband is wonderful but we are not born knowing how to use the internet, not even so called digital natives.

I hope I’m wrong, I hope I’m missing something and someone will point it out to me and I’ll feel dumb, because I’d rather feel that than the disbelief and outrage I feel right now.

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10 Responses to “FCC’s Broadband Action Agenda Fails to Address Training and Education”

  1. libraryace says:

    RT @librarianbyday: FCC’s Broadband Action Agenda Fails to Address Training and Education http://librarianbyday.net/2010/04/fccs-b

  2. Thanks for noticing this!

    Looking at the Broadband Action Agenda, I noticed that the legend refers to all intra-FCC bureaus and offices. There’s also a small footnote down at the bottom that reads “This document reflects only proposed FCC actions, not those of other government agencies, and is not exhaustive of all 2010 FCC actions.”

    And going through Chapter 9 of the National Broadband Plan, the recommendations for digital inclusion literacy and training are all tasked to Congress, IMLS & OMB. So it looks like the FCC is delegating digital literacy to other agencies and since the Action Agenda is devoted solely to FCC-based items, that’s why it wasn’t included.

    Another note: I recently saw Blair Levin and Phoebe Yang, and in their presentation, both of them talked strongly about digital inclusion and training and the role of public libraries in providing broadband access. I think they “grok” the role of libraries and the need for training and I can see an argument for making training/literacy a task for Congress & IMLS. At the same time, we can’t be complacent about current recognition of libraries and digital literacy training and there should be continual awareness and advocacy by the library community to make sure that the Digital Literacy Corps not only becomes an action item and is implemented.

    (Note: I’m truly not an apologist for the FCC [although I'm certainly willing to be in an official capacity].)

  3. [...] FCC’s Broadband Action Agenda Fails to Address Training and Education [...]

  4. Barbara Henry says:

    Libraries and communities already do a lot at grassroots level to promote digital literacy. Federal money and involvement is not the solution to everything although somehow we keep hoping it will be. Local library collaborations with colleges, schools, other non-profits and businesses (plus some good old leadership, initiative and innovation) is really what is needed to reach those in the digital limbo. It’s about combining the resources we already have to creative output and not wait for the feds and congress to do something someday. We can do it ourselves.

  5. [...] FCC’s Broadband Action Agenda Fails to Address Training and Education [...]

  6. [...] FCC’s Broadband Action Agenda Fails to Address Training and Education [...]

  7. [...] is great that there is a national broadband plan but it does next to nothing to address the issues related the access and training once high speed is [...]

  8. [...] in the National Broadband Plan from the FCC. As you know I’ve been concerned that The Plan fails to address digital literacy training and instruction and neglects the important role all libraries play in addressing the digital divide [...]

  9. [...] is exciting on so many levels. As you know, I’ve expressed concerns about the digital divide, the failure of other institutions to recognize the role of libraries [...]

  10. [...] the Digital Literacy Task Force and the fact that I’ve been following the FCC’s focus, or lack thereof, on digital literacy since the National Broadband Plan was released in March of 2010. I have also [...]

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